Why Westbourne Grove? Well, quite simply because it’s the chicest street in town, the epicentre of the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea. Royal? Yes. Good shopping also! Yippee. Want a break from the Olympic madness in East London then head west, and to this smartest of the smart thoroughfares that runs from the Notting Hill hedge funder heaven that is Kensington Park Road in the west, crossing over the famously fabulous Portobello, to the ice skating rinks and souk busy-ness of Queensway in the east. It’s circled by such fashion nirvanas as the Ledbury Road, Clarendon Cross and the Portobello Market, of course. But it’s Westbourne Grove (which takes its name from the River Westbourne now not to be found, hidden instead beneath Ossington Street towards the eastern W2 postcode end of the thoroughfare - now you can wow locals with your insider historical knowledge) which is where the money is. It’s got the best shops where money can buy….whatever your heart desires. To prepare for a hard days shopping, stop by Tom’s (226 Westbourne Grove W11 2RH) the deli founded by Tom Conran in 1990 before the neighborhood was gentrified. This is the place for a cooked breakfast or a healthy lunch in between hitting the shops. The Leon Max store (229 Westbourne Grove, W11) is a never ending cocktail of fashion fun where within its white washed walls you can get everything you need for lunch, dinner, the beach, cocktails and the races. Round the corner, just off on Ledbury Road is Wolf and Badger (46 Ledbury Road, W11 2AB), the concept store including 70 brands that bridge the multitude arts of fashion (men’s, women’s and children) accessories, jewelery and objets d’art. Good forth and browse. Meanwhile opposite the Leon Max store is the divine Daylesford Organic food shop (208-212 Westbourne Grove, W11 2RH) where one can buy the finest foods in the Royal Borough, shipped in from the billionaire Bamford family’s rolling Gloucestershire estate and South of France vineyards. You may have traveled to London for the Olympics, but you’ll want to stay for the shopping.
Contributing Editor: Richard Dennen